By Lillian Shapiro
Director of Real Estate Advertising
---- — Ask any real estate professional and he or she will probably tell you that buying patterns tend to be somewhat cyclical. Be it single families or condominiums, urban or rural, the preferences of the median buyer are forever evolving. According to Realtor/broker Betsy Merry of MerryFox Realty, Salem is currently experiencing an exciting trend of its own: the resurgence of the classic, turn-of-the-century grand residence.
“Recent sales in the McIntire District especially suggest a new energy here,” says Merry. “In the last four to six months, we’ve seen a flurry of activity around our most prestigious, historic dwellings. A number of our most current sales have happened within just a couple of days of their posting. Some have even garnered multiple offers. It is an exciting time.”
While Merry believes that this burst of movement in real estate is widespread, thanks to an upswing in the stock market and the overall economy, she does feel that Salem has a uniqueness that simply draws people in.
“People are attracted to the vibrancy of city living, yet it can often be overwhelming. Salem offers an urbanization that is unique because it still has that ‘hometown’ appeal. We are seeing buyers coming from as far away as Washington, D.C.; Seattle and Hawaii who are very intrigued by the scale of these homes, the history attached to them and by the accessibility to Boston. Whether the home requires renovations or is move-in ready, these folks see a real value here.”
Though just a small sampling, three recent sales by MerryFox serve as perfect examples of this current revelation. The William Pickering Residence, circa 1735, at 343 Essex St. was sold within two days after having been surrounded by a flood of interest. Just up the road at 329 Essex St., the Putnam-Balch mansion, circa 1871 (now known as Greymoor), is a grand second empire home that sold within two weeks after receiving dueling offers. Newly under agreement, 23 Chestnut St. awaits its new owners from D.C., who plan to refurbish and modernize.
“We are seeing buyers who are eager to put their own mark on these homes. This is a select group of people who realize that they are, in essence, stewards for a time. Even as they continue to invest in these properties, they take pleasure in it, because there is an absolute grandeur in owning one of these homes,” says Merry. “Though this is somewhat of a ‘niche market,’ we are very fortunate in Salem because we have more of this type of housing stock than just about anywhere else, the type that appeals to the consumer with discerning taste.”
For more information on these and other grand residences in the historic district and beyond, call Betsy Merry of MerryFox Realty at 508-641-6241 or visit their website: www.merryfoxrealty.com.
AT A GLANCE